The project aims at setting the grounds for a renewable energy technology, where advanced chemistry and optics work hand in hand to achieve the most efficient sunlight powered CO2 transformation into C2 value-added chemicals, specifically solar fuels such as ethanol.

SOREC2 will explore the combination of a mediator with molecular catalysts, enabling CO2 reduction beyond CO at mild applied potentials supressing the dominant formation of H2 or undesired derived products like methane (CH2). The project will also combine new developments of the mediator with a Copper (Cu) electrode to facilitate the formation of C2 products such as ethanol or ethylene.

SOREC2 proposes a novel PEC multilayered configuration that surpasses the conventional photoanode and high open circuit voltage (Voc) perovskite (PVK) cell combination incorporating light trapping nano-structures and a low band gap transparent organic photovoltaic (T-OPV) cell.

The chemistry and optics components converge in a highly transparent photoanode, where a molecular-based water oxidation catalyst (WOC) based on Cu anchored to a transparent oxide thin film will ensure high current densities at low catalyst loading.

All the developments mentioned above will be integrated within a compact PEC ensemble effectively reducing CO2 into valuable C2 compounds using sunlight energy and water as the sole energy and electron sources, respectively, while generating oxygen as the only harmless byproduct.

Photoelectrochemical Cell (PEC) ensemble.

SOREC2’s photoanode structure.